How can a novice improve?

@rhinoboy (2129)
January 12, 2007 11:00am CST
I really enjoy taking digital photos, but I'm a 'point and shoot - and hope!' photographer. I have a Finepix A200 (2.1mp) and I also bought a Finepix A530 (5.3mp) for the optical zoom and increased resolution. I've taken some very good landscape pictures on holiday and have been told I have 'an eye for it', but I want to kow how to really improve my portrait and close up pictures. I tried messing with the white balance, but never gained any improvement. Any tips and advice would be gratefully received.
4 people like this
13 responses
@maainim (70)
• Israel
12 Jan 07
Keep Practicing ?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
13 Jan 07
i agree. its best to keep practicing. if your really too serious. i suggest you take class. go for pro. if not, go for fun. practice makes perfect.
@korek222 (703)
• Poland
12 Jan 07
Actually best way to improve your skills besides reading a professional books which are avaible in almost every store , is practising. You just go make tons of pics then come back and watch them carefully. You must point on every photo what was made in a good metter and what was wrong. If you do so , next day go to the same spot and try fixing your errors. After few such a trips you will see that your photos were improving from the begining and you will see that your pics from normal half good ones will became semi professional a then proffessional :) And remember - keep up your work even if you cant see any progress! Just try more and more until you will see the good results!
1 person likes this
@simran1430 (1793)
• India
13 Jan 07
Since digital cameras are part computer, they can be programmed to do some neat tricks that were inconceivable with traditional 35mm cameras. Few of these effects are necessary; in fact, I’d choose a camera based on solid features like the zoom, lens quality, and overall handling before I looked too hard at whether the camera included a video mode or sepia tint. Nonetheless, these are some of the effects you may see: Panorama mode This feature takes wide-screen-style images either by automatically cropping the top and bottom off an image or by letting you stitch together several pictures to create one oversized one. Movie mode Some cameras can capture short, low-resolution video clips as well as still images. Don’t confuse this with high-quality digital video, though—the results are strictly for Web pages. Tint modes With special settings, you can take black-and-white or sepia-tinted stills. Remember, though, that you can achieve the same effect in an image editor on the PC after the picture is taken, so you aren’t losing anything if your camera lacks this feature. In fact, I’d say it’s better to start with a full-color image; that way you can do whatever you like to it later and always have the high-quality original to fall back on.5
@rhinoboy (2129)
15 Jan 07
I recognise that many of the features on 'snapshot' cameras are pretty much for novelty value, but I would like to know how white balance etc works properly and how to adjust colours and contrast properly rather than just 'messing'.
@bbs2007 (28)
• China
13 Jan 07
i think the best way is keeping pricting
@ahmed2th (127)
• Egypt
13 Jan 07
I agree
@spcbrass (1192)
• United States
12 Jan 07
I learned how to take good photos with a lot of practice. Adjusting the lighting and the white balance can take a great deal of practice, but these days I have done it so much that I know what adjustments need to be made on my camera in order to get the best quality photos. I have played with shutter speeds, white balance, the autofocus, and a number of other features available on my camera enough so that I know them all inside and out. Keep practicing and as other have said buy a book or take a class. That will only help you to know all of these things better.
@rhinoboy (2129)
15 Jan 07
I think you're right. I'll have to dedicate some time to taking the same shot with different settings and lighting. That way i can get to know my camera better.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
12 Jan 07
My best advice would be to just keep practicing. I had the hardest time using lighting since I was so used to shooting everything outdoors, even if I did shoot posed portraits sometimes. But after a lot of practice, I learned quite a bit. I think you just have to step out of your comfort zone and try different things. The good thing about digital is, you don't have to worry about spending money on a ton of film and developing. I think even with a point and shoot, you can still learn a lot. The close up pictures might have something to do with the camera though. I've found when I'm not using my Nikon, I can't get as close to objects and I think having a Nikon has totally spoiled me on having good macro.
@rhinoboy (2129)
15 Jan 07
It's odd but I've actually found that my older, lower mp camera seems to take better pictures! I got the new one for the added features I described, but have found that a greater number of my pictures seem to be blurred, even though I have the camera set to 'sports' mode which i would presume to increase the shutter speed! As you say, when I shoot outdoors in good sunlight, my pictures always come out great, but indoors things don't look so good. It's many of those shots where I would like to improve, as I'd like to catch moments during birthday parties etc.
@xphile777 (428)
• United States
14 Jan 07
Two things will make you a better photographer: 1. Take a class or seminar, if you can, or read books and/or visit websites about photography. 2. Take pictures. Lots and lots and of pictures. The only way you'll ever improve is by shooting. Some of the things you'll learn if you study photography in a class or from a book or website are: Use the rule of thirds, which states putting your subject a third away from the edge of the frame. It makes the shot more interesting. Another piece of advice pro photographers always give is when shooting up close, fill the frame with your subject.
@grbnrj (105)
• India
13 Jan 07
i suggest you to take a digital photography course from a reputed institute. i do not know where do you live in but whereever you live, i believe there must be any good photography learning institution. best of luck!
@ahmed2th (127)
• Egypt
13 Jan 07
Don't use flash. Photos will be more attractive.
@neon2000 (2762)
• Philippines
13 Jan 07
Try Researching about digital photography on the internet. I think you could learn a lot by your research. Experiment on lightings and any things you are interested. I researched many topics about it because I am interested in photograyphy too.
• India
13 Jan 07
If you need any tips for taking photos visit the manufacturer website,for example I own a Panasonic Lumix ,when i brought that ,i was in search of tips for better shooting,but after visiting the panasonic website i learned a lot from them .They offer many video tutorials and more user reviews.
@gabs8513 (48764)
• United Kingdom
12 Jan 07
Sorry Rhino I wish I could help you there but I have no clue about this I do hope someone can help you there I really do
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
12 Jan 07
Best of Portrait Photography - billhurter.com is the source of higher learning in book form for photography.
Remember the subject and lighting is everything. I am sure you got a book with the camera. They have helpful tips. Use the preview screen with your shots and that should help at bit. Also play around taking pictures of different things and that will help you develop the eye you need for composing portrait and close ups. Good Luck!!